It’s been over a week since I have had any real human interaction. And let me tell you, I am NOT loving it. Yesterday things got a little better when I ventured out of my house to pay my internet bill at the little automatic kiosk. Never have I felt such solidarity just from knowing that the 5 or 6 other people in line had waited until the last day to pay their bill too. We were all in this together! Two months ago I may have found myself slightly annoyed at having to wait in such a line. But now, it was bliss.
Isolation has a way of changing you. It changes how you process the little things. How much you appreciate even the smallest of opportunities to commune with another human. As a Christian, I have wondered where the line is between lamenting my loss of community and believing that Christ is enough.
On the one hand, we have stories of great saints who were imprisoned and kept alone without even a Bible. And yet they remained faithful to the Lord. Their testimonies show that he truly is sufficient. He isn’t just what we need. He is all we need.
But on the other hand, there is no denying that God has created us to live in community. Jesus himself was surrounded by a community of close friends who all had a common purpose. And all through the new testament we are exhorted to love one another. A hard feat if you never see anyone.
So which is it then? Do we need community? Or is Christ sufficient? Personally, I have come to the conclusion that there is room for both. As Ecclesiastes tells us, for everything there is a season. When it comes down to it, we really can choose joy in Christ no matter what our circumstances. We really can be whole and satisfied in him even when we have nothing else. But God also chooses to use community for our mutual edification. He knows we are relational beings. And that in being with one another we are both encouraged and sanctified.
So if you are lamenting the loss of community that coronavirus has temporarily brought about, it’s okay. Grieve what has been lost. But then let it be a teacher on the sufficiency of Christ. And when you finally get back into that community you have missed so much and you feel yourself began to perhaps take it for granted, remember this time in isolation. And let it be a teacher on the beautiful gift that community is meant to be.
Stay strong friends! Christ is enough. And community is not gone forever. Trust in him and he will sustain you.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.Romans 8:28